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a patch of skin is itchy, scaly, raw, painful, and spreading

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My girlfriend has a patch of skin on her foot that she describes as itchy, scaly, raw, painful, and also spreading and cracking. It is about the size of a quarter and is on the outside of her left foot, right below the start of her pinky toe and on the bottom of her third toe on the same foot. She has been putting Hydrocortisone (Cortizone-10) and Neosporin on it at least 3 times a day. She has told me that the Neosporin stings the area along with any other petroleum based ointments. She has been on this regimen for about a month and a half and has also tried other creams such as Lotrimin, thinking it could be athlete's foot, and Neosporin Eczema Essentials cream. The only thing that she is able to do for it is keep it moisturized. It is not healing. She is planning going to the doctor but unfortunately due to finances we have to wait until either she or I gets paid. It almost looks like psoriasis but I don't know for sure.

Thank You,

Joe & Jennifer

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replied October 23rd, 2012
Skin Answer A39782

Welcome to ehealthforum and thanks for writing

It is very difficult to give an exact diagnosis on net without a clinical examination of the concerned area. Scaling and exfoliation are characteristic of dry skin and redness points out inflammation. It can occur in Eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, allergy etc.Since she has been using the steroid and antibiotic for quite long time with no relief it definitely requires a detailed clinical examination.

Psoriasis gets better and worse spontaneously and can have periodic remissions (clear skin).Based on the type and severity of psoriasis and the areas of skin affected, the traditional approach is to start with the mildest treatments — topical creams, lotions, sprays and ultraviolet light therapy (phototherapy) — and then progress to stronger ones only if necessary.

Kindly consider visiting a Dermatologist for evaluation.

Take care!

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